31 December 2018 - 6 January 2019: What video games are you playing this week?
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Tell us what you're playing, how much progress you've made, what you like, and what you dislike this week.

Subscription thread for this list:

What Videogames did you play this week: WVGDYPTW subscription thread

Check out these other VGG geeklists to show off your accomplishments or frustrations.

2018:
Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2018
Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2018
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2018

and 2019:
Videogames Beaten by VGGers in 2019
Video Games Ambivalently Continued by VGGers in 2019
Video Games Abandoned by VGGers in 2019

We've also got a thread for tabletop RPGs and
similar geeklists for board games.
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1. Video Game: Pokémon GO [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:2606]
Video Game: Pokémon GO
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Microbadge: I completed the 2019 Alphabet board game challenge!Microbadge: I completed the 2019 hardcore challenge to play 10 games 10 times each - I came, I saw, I conquered my original list!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?Microbadge: Silver game player. At least 1,000 logged game plays!Microbadge: I completed the 100 Games x 1 Challenge - 2019
Closing in on the level 36. So will try to catch more pokémon.
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2. Video Game: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:358]
Video Game: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Joakim Schön
Sweden
Alingsås
Sverige
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Microbadge: I completed the 2019 Alphabet board game challenge!Microbadge: I completed the 2019 hardcore challenge to play 10 games 10 times each - I came, I saw, I conquered my original list!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level III - Are we geeks because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are geeks?Microbadge: Silver game player. At least 1,000 logged game plays!Microbadge: I completed the 100 Games x 1 Challenge - 2019
Began play the games on my 2019 Hardcore videogame challenge list. Will start with this title.
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3. Video Game: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:961]
Video Game: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
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This game is wild. The play is fairly simple, with combat limited to a few moves and the puzzles all variations of finding the right angle to view objects, but the presentation makes Hellblade something else.

The player character, Senua, has deep psychological scars from numerous traumatic events in her life leading up to her quest in the game. This is represented through visual and audio hallucinations which keep you constantly uneasy at best. The voices are especially effective, since (if you're wearing headphones, which you should) they occasionally whisper directly into your ear giving you some sort of anti-ASMR sensation. Their barrage of commentary on Senua's actions is often supportive or even helpful as well, adding to the confusion. Even if you were able to block them out to avoid being laughed at and ridiculed, you wouldn't necessarily want to do so. Senua's visions are a lot to deal with as well. A portion of the game requires you to move quickly between well-lit areas to avoid something lurking in the shadows (or is it...?), and this is the one time that scenario has been presented in a way that actually made me anxious to get to the next torch.

Hellblade is fairly short, but I think the aspects that are done best would lose their effectiveness if the game were padded out. For what it set out to accomplish, I have no problems with the 6 hours of play time.
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4. Video Game: Pikmin 2 [Average Rating:8.06 Overall Rank:262]
Video Game: Pikmin 2
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
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Minneapolis
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Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
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Looks like the game really wants me to head in the caves.

So that's what I'm doing.
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5. Video Game: XBlaze Code: Embryo [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Video Game: XBlaze Code: Embryo
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Coming back to this to explore the other endings. The one I'm shooting for now requires everything to be the same up to a point
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Chapter 6
so everything is the same as the first time around so far.
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6. Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds [Average Rating:8.57 Overall Rank:98] [Average Rating:8.57 Unranked]
Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Kevin J
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I just got back from my annual holiday trip home, which usually means some sort of handheld game. This year, I decided to do a second play of LoZ: Link Between Worlds on the 3DS. So far I've
Spoiler (click to reveal)
gotten to Lorule and reclaimed one of the seven sages

which puts me at, say, a bit less than halfway through the game. I'm getting reflections of Breath of the Wild with the mostly open-world setup of the game, although it's really more a rehash of what was being done on the SNES. I haven't had much difficulty with the game; the game definitely doesn't tell you where to go next and how to get there, but a little bit of exploration usually gets you to somewhere interesting.

I've also been playing Bulletstorm, which was free on PS Plus. It's worth playing for an hour to see how stupid it is, although I'm definitely only continuing to play it because I know I'm near the end. It's hard playing mediocre games from 2011. cry

I've been continuing to unlock characters in Smash Bros Ultimate; I think my roster is up to about 60 now. I've given up on the World of Light mode in favor of the Classic mode. Since I've unlocked Ganondorf, I've been playing him almost exclusively (with a bit of Donkey Kong sprinkled in).

I got Diablo 3 on Switch as a gift this year and started playing co-op with my girlfriend. We started on Hard difficulty after being told that default difficulty is too easy, and even on Hard it's painfully easy. We could blow through everything we've done so far with our basic abilities only. I'm playing a Barbarian and she's playing a Wizard. I'll probably start up a Witch Doctor as a second character to play solo.
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7. Video Game: Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.50 Unranked]
Video Game: Age of Wonders III: Eternal Lords
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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Ah! It's finally after midnight, so I can post to this list.

I just finished one of the best AoW3 games I've played yet. Raised the bar to Lord level and played on a small, two-level map with four players. I meant to set up teams, but I forgot, so it was a free-for-all. My random character was a Halfling Rogue (one I had created myself).

The neighboring Tigrans attacked me soon after I got settled on my big island. But the Draconians were also at war with them, so I made a peace treaty with the Draconians. I managed to trap the Tigran leader at sea, and she surrendered soon after. I didn't get much of her territory, though.

Next I noticed the Draconians were already at war with another power--Orcs, I think. That was OK with me. I explored and expanded and waited to see what would happen. I got three of the four underground cities. Then the Orc leader lost, and I grabbed some of his surface territory.

Then came the very long endgame. I had a little more territory than the Draconian Sorcerer leader (Calishar, or something like that), so I closed our borders, hoping he'd stay on his own turf and give me time to build. No such luck; he declared war.

I started losing cities, including all the underground cities. I also made a foolish move: I spotted the enemy leader alone at sea, so I rushed him with a stack I had embarked nearby; but it turned out there was a full stack of enemy units adjacent to their leader, just hidden by the fog of war. I backed off, but the enemy navy closed in next turn, and I lost three good, well-equipped heroes.

Several turns later, I thought I had lost the game. Enemy armies were taking city after city, working closer to my throne city. Meanwhile, I was recapturing the subterranean realm. I had made an attempt on the enemy throne city, but it was too strong to take.

With the underground secured, I got my armies back to the surface, and this time the enemy's throne city was weakly guarded and soon mine. I reinforced my own throne city just in case, but it proved to be unnecessary.

In the next several turns I captured three more enemy cities, and I finally felt I was out of the woods. However, I didn't think the end was quite so near. Suddenly the enemy leader surrendered.



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8. Video Game: The Forest [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:3817]
Video Game: The Forest
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Some of my D&D/VTM crew were playing this, and I decided to bug them in Discord.

The game sounded fun, so I got in on the cannibal-fighting chaos.
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9. Video Game: Warframe [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:1939]
Video Game: Warframe
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From gallery of vyran
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10. Video Game: Into the Breach [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:789]
Video Game: Into the Breach
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
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Although I've played Into the Breach on PC, I decided to pick it up on sale for the Switch. I thought I would give both it and Civilization VI (which is new to me) a go as games I can pick up and play for a few turns here and there on a handheld without hiding out in the room where I have my PC set up. So far that's working pretty well for this holiday period.

After New Years though I am hoping to resume a long delayed replay of Mass Effect 3, now that I finally have all the DLC that hopefully patches the perceived holes I felt existed in the launch version of the game.
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11. Video Game: Subnautica [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:766]
Video Game: Subnautica
Raymond Haaken
Netherlands
Maastricht
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Check my YouTube channel "Boardgame Heaven"!
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Addictive game!
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12. Video Game: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1378]
Video Game: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Joerg Schaefer
Germany
Frankfurt
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I restarted playing Call of Juarez: Gunslinger after a break of two years. It helped that it was selected for the Winter Game Club Event. I'm enjoying it so far. The times in which other people have played through this, just brings the bitter recognition that I absolutely suck at FPS games.

I also dabbled in The Long Journey Home. This game gets panned a lot on Steam while at the same time it has an odd fascination on me. In the four hours I played so far, I managed to cover about a tenth of the way home through the galaxy and already burned through most of my resources. I'm in a sector with a lot of space pirates who attack me continously. Luckily, the game has a rewind feature after dying. Unluckily, I have to use it a lot. I want to succeed at this game but I can see that many of the negative voices speak out of frustration and probably repetitiveness.

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13. Video Game: Beat Saber [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:1571]
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Aaron Tubb
United States
Fuquay Varina
NC
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I've been playing a good amount of Beat Saber, and dabbling in other VR games like Pavlov and a VR port of Wolfenstein 3D.

Beat Saber is great fun. It's a rythm game where you have to hit colored blocks with lightsabers with the music. People have made some really fun custom levels and cool custom lightsabers. This is the first videogame my wife has enjoyed so much that she wants to play it on her own.


One of the levels (not me playing):



I also tried Sublevel Zero in VR, and found it much more enjoyable and easier to play in VR than on my monitor. The extra easy of play is mostly because the enemies and wall textures are all pixellated with vibrant colors and the enemies tend to blend in with their surroundings. In VR, the enemies are a lot easier to make out because of the added depth perception. Also, you can freely look around without having to turn your ship (which takes time), which is nice. I haven't played it since the "Redux" update, and I'm hoping that the game has had some more variety added to it.
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14. Video Game: Civilization VI [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:287] [Average Rating:7.76 Unranked]
Video Game: Civilization VI
Agent J
United States
Coldwater
Michigan
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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He's a semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of action. He's a furry little flat-foot who'll never flinch from a fray. He's got more than just mad skills, he's got a beaver tail and a bill.
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I continue my Cleopatra game in a way-too-big world against 11 Civilizations, most of which are probably doing better than me. However, I have a couple tricks up my sleeve. I'm going to settle a new continent and spread everywhere. I missed out on a religious victory, but now I have thousands of faith to buy national parks with. I am very upset with Brazil but can't bring myself to declare war. If I do, it's because they built a city right in the middle of my empire, so it needs to be destroyed or, at the least, captured. Meanwhile, I'm starting to hit tourism pretty hard as it's my best option for victory, as I have the most stay-at-home tourists and so I just need to attract everyone else's tourists. I've got my tourism rating over 110 at the moment, and I just did a bunch of trades that probably won't help me at all, but I'm trying to get a themed museum or two. I can get artifacts now, too.
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15. Video Game: Let It Die [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:5386]
Video Game: Let It Die
Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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AaAaAaAaAaAaA! Oh no! You shanked my Jenga ship!
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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This interesting little post-apocalyptic Rogue / Souls-like hybrid is now available on PC! I ran across it thanks to the Steam queue exploration rewards for the Winter Sale, and it utterly sucked me in.

The basic conceit of the game is that there was a massive earthquake in 2026 that plunged the world into chaos. As a part of this, a huge new building called the 'Tower of Barbs' emerged on a new island southeast of Tokyo. There is rumored to be a great treasure possibly capable of granting the possessor god-like power at the top of the tower, but no one has ever survived the climb to claim it.

Then the game takes a bit of a meta turn, and you discover that you're sitting in an arcade in Japan, playing a new video game with your friend, Uncle Death, a skateboarding grim reaper who is eager to see if you can beat this new game.

In addition to trying to climb the tower, there is a limited PVP element with the players divided into teams based on region, and able to raid one another's bases for in game currency and a resource called SPLithium, which is used to both improve your base and upgrade your equipment.

This is free to play, and is reasonably generous with the 'premium' currency for a game with that model, handing it out as daily log-in and in game quest rewards.

The sound track is absolutely amazing, but there is no OST available, probably because getting all of the licensing from the 100 Japanese bands that contributed would be too difficult.

If you have any love for rogue-likes, brawlers, or games that are just decidedly odd, give this one a try. It won't cost you a dime.

If you made it through all of that rambling, thank you. Uncle Death can probably explain this better than I can....

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16. Video Game: Car Mechanic Simulator 2018 [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
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Troy
United States
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I don't know what I'm doing.

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17. Video Game: Memoir '44 Online [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:990] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
Video Game: Memoir '44 Online
Rudy
United States
No too far from Philly
Pennsylvania
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SPOOOOON!!!
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Memoir '44 - Still playing the free Pegasus Bridge scenario to solidify my understanding of the game. I should play the only other free scenario they offer online. I have no desire to spend gold to play other maps.

Edit: Tried Junos Beach tonight and got slaughtered by the Germans. The AI rolled a 58% hit rate to my 38%, and from that they got a 47% hit rate to my infantry to my 30% to theirs. On 3-4 dice rolls they took my units of 4 down to 1. Dice hurt that game.

Edit 2: Played Junos Beach again and won. This time the dice rolls were more even between the AI and me.

Path of Exile - If I don't count the deaths in the Delve mine, in which I've been trying in vain to find an elusive and hidden destructible barrier, then my first real death was at level 63. That is when I got slaughtered by a tough syndicate encounter. The whole experience made me realize how far I can go without dying. I may try a hardcore build one these leagues to really test myself.
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18. Video Game: Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Video Game: Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia
Jørgen K
Denmark
Copenhagen S
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Starting up on my playlist of the year - and will (mainly) work alphabetically - starting with my last chapter of the Assassin's Creed Chronicles.

So far it is quite okay. I look forward to see how much I get to play with Anastasia - if it is just this short moment I am about to start or if it will come and go from time to time.
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19. Video Game: Red Dead Redemption II [Average Rating:8.75 Overall Rank:129]
Video Game: Red Dead Redemption II
Железный комиссар
United States
Indiana
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Well, there goes January!

Figure this is a good way to kick off my hardcore challenge this year, along with Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun.

RDR2: Everyone is impressed by the game's aesthetics and camerawork. I've only been in a couple of shootouts, but I actually like the rhythm of firing the repeater rifle, where you need an extra click to feed the next bullet into the chamber. Curious to see how the resource-scrounging aspect of the game shapes up.

The prologue overall is not particularly strong. You can tell they want to craft something akin to the opening of a famous western, like Once Upon a Time in the West or The Wild Bunch etc, but there's the inevitable clash between the highly directed nature of what you are doing for the first 30 minutes, and a player's natural inclination to look around and get a sense for what they can do in-game. It's like you are inside of a cutscene and if you don't play your part, everyone else is rolling their eyes and drums their fingers, like, 'c'mon, you're ruining the scene!'

Two things I flatly dislike in the opening to RDR2: We can't go 10 minutes without classic videogame rape-bait, where our group of mythic outlaws comes upon a fetching blonde homesteader who has been locked up for a few days as a sex-toy following her husband's murder. We are then treated to an internal dispute among "our" guys about whether to take her in or just pick up where they left off. Dutch, the leader of our group, settles the issue by telling her "we're bad men but we ain't them."

shake

We can't go 20 more minutes without classic videogame torture-porn. As the main character, you're assigned to chase after a straggler that is presumed to be affiliated with a rival outlaw gang, and once you capture him, there is a long horse-ride where he begs you not to hurt him and you keep gleefully taunting him about his upcoming brutalization.

I can hear some theoretical person in my mind saying "but the Wild West is all about rape and murder! Historical Authenticity! Morally Gray Storytelling!"

Those are hackneyed and barely applicable defenses of how this game draws the player into its world. All I got from this sequence was the lurid implication, "wouldn't it be cool if."

Anyway, mini-rant over. Onto the main game.
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20. Video Game: Ultimate General: Civil War [Average Rating:8.67 Unranked]
Video Game: Ultimate General: Civil War
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
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‘Well, at any rate, the Dormouse said—’ the Hatter went on, looking anxiously round to see if he would deny it too: but the Dormouse denied nothing, being fast asleep. ‘After that,’ continued the Hatter, ‘I cut some more bread-and-butter—’"
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"‘But what did the Dormouse say?’ one of the jury asked. ‘That I can’t remember,’ said the Hatter."
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<sigh> I gave in to my first over-five-dollars winter-sale purchase. I had put this one off because it looked like a game I'd have loved ten or fifteen years ago (as I enjoyed Sid Meier's Gettysburg) but wouldn't care for anymore. But this morning I watched a video or two on it and was finally lured in.

It does appear to be a game I'll like--if and when I put the time into learning how to play it. I was expecting a tutorial, or at least an easy intro scenario to start out with. No such luck. Next I looked for a game manual to read. No luck there either. So I plunged in blindly and played the first battle of a campaign.

Looked simple: just take this lightly defended coastal fort. Well, I got my troops up (but unwittingly left enemy skirmishers in my rear), and at one point I actually got them inside the fort. But they were expelled, and before too long my whole army was routed.

Then I read most of a how-to-play guide for beginners on Steam, and it clued me in on the basic info I'd done without. It also convinced me that this is a more difficult game than I'd bargained for. I can learn it, but it'll have to be a project on my list, not a game I can just jump into.

To make things more difficult, I've at least temporarily given up my mouse. The darned things keep going bad on me (maybe they just need to be cleaned; I don't know). And I'm annoyed by the wireless ones because I have to keep changing batteries, and I'm annoyed by the wired ones because the cord keeps getting tangled up or in my way. So for the past few days I've been getting used to the touchpad. In the past, I've always assumed a touchpad was just a last resort, for when you're in a place where you need to use your laptop without a mouse. Now it looks like it'd be very handy. So I'm trying to see if I can actually live without a mouse at all. It sure made playing UG:CW tricky, though.
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21. Video Game: Super Mario Odyssey [Average Rating:8.58 Overall Rank:64]
Video Game: Super Mario Odyssey
Dave B
Scotland
Glasgow
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Not playing this quite as much as I was half a week ago, but still going. Got 527 Power Moons, so I can visit
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Not just the Dark Side of the Moon, but the Darker Side of the Moon too. Wonder if there is a Darkest Side? And there, Mario encounters his greatest foe... Sith Lord Luigi.


I can see my plans for 100% completion getting scuppered. Those races can be tough, and there is one platforming challenge in the Mushroom Kingdom I just can't f**king do.

Loved the
Spoiler (click to reveal)
cinema in the Metro Kingdom where the people queuing outside are saying that they're going to see "a classic". It's not Citizen Kane or anything, though... It's Super Mario Bros. You get to play through a recreation of World 1-1! And people applaud when you do good!




EDIT: Can't believe I forgot to mention
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the silly side mission where you have to get Mayor Pauline a Birthday gift. Does she realise the handbag you get her is something you (presumably) stole from... I think it was a random bit of scaffolding? Just some random handbag off the street, there you go, Happy Birthday!
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22. Video Game: Child of Light [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:720]
Video Game: Child of Light
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Got a bit of a late start gaming today because I had to hep the in-laws with electronics, which took way too long because they ordered a far too complicated surveillance system for what they need.

Anyway, I got 3 gold splits and all the skips, but got trolled by some of the bosses. I have someone following me on Twitch who is looking to start running the game, so it's kinda fun to have him in my stream.

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23. Video Game: Final Fantasy VIII [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:405] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy VIII
♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
United States
In the middle of nowhere
New York
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Microbadge: Tea drinkerMicrobadge: I'm part of the 2020 Mindful Spending ChallengeMicrobadge: Lost in Subscription!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level V - My God! It's Full of Stars!Microbadge: "I'm a really good liar." —Jester Lavorre
So, I wasn't planning on streaming this today after I got such a late start, but then I got hosted right after my speedrun ended so I figured I had about an hour before I needed to start dinner.

Ran around a village full of monsters with Laguna, and trying to escape prison.
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24. Video Game: NieR: Automata [Average Rating:8.20 Overall Rank:607]
Video Game: NieR: Automata
Kevin Brown
United States
Parker
Colorado
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XB1X

A few hours in and there is some stuff I like about this game. The exploration is fun adjacent and at times the combat is fun. The character design is anime wonky cool. Visually it's a pretty game.

There's a awful lot that I find various amounts of puzzling and annoying. The story (so far) is pure dreck. The amount of top down and twin stick shooter I want randomly inserted into my third person action game with RPG trappings is pretty much zero. The camera changes perspective way too often, shifting from over the shoulder third person to side 2.5 perspective to top down. I would say I would like more voice acting in the game, but the dialog is bad enough that I think I'm fortunate that I can just click click click it away. The level design is an abuse of invisible walls. Openings into buildings that you cannot enter, rocky outcroppings that you can't jump on.

But oddly I'm enjoying the game. It's really uninspired. But fun enough to play. It reminds me of ReCore for a reason I'm not entirely sure of. I enjoyed ReCore way more (before ReCore decided to triple down on incessant grinding). I think NieR is going to grow on me.
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25. Video Game: Final Fantasy IV [Average Rating:7.94 Overall Rank:144] [Average Rating:7.94 Unranked]
Video Game: Final Fantasy IV
It's V-Y not V-R
United States
Alabama
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I completed the first part of the Tower of Babil. Now I'm doing some leveling in the Eblan Cave to get Edge caught up with the rest of the group. Cecil is level 50, but Edge is still in the high 30s.
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